She didn’t know freeways, or even how to drive a car….but she knew laughter better than anyone. Orange juice freshly squeezed; cookies, Peanut Butter and Snicker Doodles, always in the bottom tray of her refrigerator waiting for little hands and the anxious mouths of grandchildren. Little packets of jelly, grape and strawberry that she saved for a rainy day. Rice pudding with cinnamon sticks, made with love. Flour tortillas always made from scratch; mint tea from the leaves in her garden; the best Mexican food ever. She danced and sang and laughed until the tears came.
With pride, she raised her three daughters, on her own. She scrubbed toilets, cleaned houses, and walked early in the morning darkness to her many jobs. She made sure her children never went without and stayed up late sewing clothes, meticulously, so they could hold their heads up high. She kept going, no matter how tired, no matter how scared.
Her heart grew larger with each grandchild, seven to be exact. She spread joy with what she had to give, from baking, to sewing, to money for candy bars from the vending machine. She was generous with the little she had. Time passed, as it usually does, and 15 great grandchildren entered her life. Her special gift was making each daughter, each grandchild, and each great grandchild feel special, as though they were the only one. Beautiful, inside and out, she loved deeply and unconditionally. She was passionate and stubborn, a collector of shared moments amongst those she cherished. Her only hobby was her family.
She didn’t know the Internet, or how to drive a car, but she knew what mattered most. Living with courage and conviction; loving hard, dancing, and laughter….always laughter.
...Today I handed a $200 bond to my daughter to pay for a college course. It had been purchased in 1994 by the woman in the photo; a woman she barely remembered. This woman knew she would be long gone by the time the bond matured, but she wanted to "leave a little something." She left more than a little something, she left a legacy. I know, because the woman in the photograph was my grandmother.
We miss her terribly. May she be resting in peace with laughter, and dancing in heaven.